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August 31, 2014

just a little splash

I was feeling a little guilty about my whining over the heat yesterday so I had to pop in today and counter with a little something positive.

I'm sure you've all heard that Starbucks has their pumpkin spice coffee out early this year. And with me already craving fall, it was so tempting not to do a quick drive through for a pick me up.

Then I found this Pumpkin Spice Coffee Syrup at Target...

I added some to my coffee this morning, opened the sliding door to let some cool air in, lit a fall smelling candle and instant autumn.  This stuff is delicious and it's sugar free.  I don't use a sweetener in my coffee, just a little milk and all it took was a splash of this syrup and I was in heaven.  They have a salted caramel flavor that I can't wait to try as well.

Of course, there are so many other important positive things in my life and I never forget how totally blessed I am.

Happy Sunday!

xo, Patty

August 30, 2014

hello Saturday

Hello Saturday...can we talk vent?

Okay, seriously?  I am so over this summer.  We were in the triple digits again yesterday and don't expect relief anytime soon.  The weatherman did say we could expect a cool down by mid week and we should only be in the mid 90's.  Really...a cool down?

And to make matters worse, I've started to see the most beautiful fall decor all over the place.  I would love to jump on the band wagon but at this point, I think I would be laughed right out of the neighborhood.

My head knows that this is perfectly normal for Southern California but my heart keeps reminding me that our summer started in April this year and that is not normal.  Add to that the fact that we haven't had a lick of rain in eons (okay, a little drama here) and you have the makings of one hot, cranky, whiny girl.

Sorry I didn't mean to monopolize the conversation...what would you like to talk vent about today?

xo, Patty

August 28, 2014

don't settle

I finally repainted the wine cabinet yesterday.  I decided on Benjamin Moore's Waterloo, which the girl at the paint counter at Ace Hardware made into a chalk paint for me at no extra cost.  I panicked a bit when I first applied it because it looked so flat and well, chalky.  (I know a real "duh" moment for me, it is chalk paint after all.)

I knew it needed a coat of wax but I was not willing to pay what they're asking for it so I googled a home made version.  By the time I would have purchased all that was required to make it myself the savings would have been minimal.  I searched for an alternative and found a tutorial where someone suggested using Minwax Polycrylic finish.  I had that in my paint cupboard already so I gave it a try near the back of the piece where I could hide it if I hated it.

It worked like a charm.  I used clear satin and it gave just enough of a shiny finish to make the blue really pop.

I am so glad I didn't settle for the okay blue that I originally painted it and splurged on another quart of paint.  Which by the way, I plan on using to paint my husbands dresser in our bedroom next month.

All that's left in the dining room is to rehang my picture gallery and make up some new place mats.  I am still shooting for a reveal on Monday.

Have a great day and thanks so much for stopping by, I'm always surprised and happy when you do!

xo, Patty

August 26, 2014

feeling refreshed

Thank you for all the encouraging words on yesterdays introspective post.  Sometimes we just need to hear others tell us what we already know.  I spent a couple of days at my moms and am feeling refreshed and ready to dive back into real life.

It's amazing what a little of my mom's cooking, a trip to Hobby Lobby and a movie can do for your outlook.

It's hard to believe this is the last week of August.  Not that I'm not looking forward to fall or anything but this just seems like summers last hoorah and the change of seasons always reminds me that time marches on.  There is no going back to live this one over.  Hopefully, fun times and good memories abound.

I am just about finished in the dining room and I'm so happy with it's cheerfulness.  Even my husband, who is resistant to change, likes it.  That's always a relief, isn't it?  I've decided to put off painting the walls until the weather cools a bit.  I'm not the biggest fan of painting, add the hot weather to that and I'm over it.

Another full day in store for me here, so I better get to it.

Happy Tuesday all!

xo, Patty

August 25, 2014

just wondering...

It's such a fine balancing act I do on this blog.  Wanting to present the best of my life, the pretty, the positive and the happy stuff.

When sometimes reality can be a bit rough around the edges, ugly scars can show up just when you think you have them covered.

If I'm honest this blog can be a bit of a retreat, a place where I can show you the life I'm trying to create.

I never want to make it seem like my life is perfect.  Real people live in this home I'm redecorating and to infer that we don't disagree or even hurt each other would be a lie.

I'm just wondering if it's being phony only showing the part of life I've cleaned up.  Is there a place in this cyber world for a life slightly skewed to the positive?    

xo, Patty

August 23, 2014

hello Saturday

Hello Saturday. I've had my second cup of coffee so I'm ready to get this day going?

I started thinning out the summer weeds garden yesterday so I think I'll continue on with that momentum and tackle another little section today.

I am undecided on whether or not I will try my hand at a fall garden.  While I love the thought of pulling up a few radishes and carrots and maybe trying a new variety of lettuce, my summer garden was such a dismal failure that I am afraid to risk the rejection a puny fall/winter garden might bring.  Can my delicate wannabe gardener's heart take that?

In other (not) exciting news, I pulled all the photos down from our gallery wall of family pictures, gave the frames a good cleaning and switched out a few pictures, so today I hope to paint the wall they hang on and freshen up the arrangement.  I love seeing my family every time I walk by.  Do you have a family photo wall?

Yesterday I stained a few slats of wood for a small project I have in mind, so that's on my to do list as well.  If it turns out like envision, I can't wait to show you the results.  If it doesn't, you won't ever hear me mention it again.  Ha, how's that for truth?

Other than that, it should be a pretty quiet day around here.  What are your weekend plans?

xo, Patty

August 21, 2014

sometimes I prefer the left overs

I made a delicious roast with potatoes for dinner on Sunday and while it was good in it's own right, it was nothing compared to what I made with the leftovers.

Taking the left over beef chopping it finely, adding the chunked up potatoes and frying them up into tacos then topping them with fresh tomatoes, lettuce and shredded cheese is one of my favorite weeknight meals. Add some homemade salsa...perfection.

Sometimes even while I'm planning a meal I am already looking ahead to the leftovers.  I feel the same way about pork chops or pork roast.  So many possibilities.  BBQ pork sandwiches or Chile Verde.  Maybe even fried pork burritos.

What are your favorite meals from leftovers?  Love to add them to my list...

xo, Patty

August 20, 2014

what was I thinking?

Okay, I admit it.  I had a brief moment of panic yesterday as I hung my new dining room curtains to check them for length.  What was I thinking...they are just so...colorful.

But then the sun came out and cast the most dreamy glow over the entire room.

And I knew I made the right choice.

I still have to finish the lining and hem them up before I can share them with you.  I just hope my camera can capture how pretty they really are.

In the meantime what I can show you is this wall of plates I hung randomly meandering to the ceiling.  I saw Flower Patch Farmgirl do this a while back and I knew I had to find a place to include it in my revamp.  I am so happy with the affect they have on this part of the room next to the hutch.

And the best part is that I had all but a couple of the plates in my cupboards.  I did have to head to the thrift store to finish off the arrangement and found the plain blue plate and the white plate with the blue rim for .49 cents each.

One section at a time the room is coming together.  I think I'm on target for an end of the month reveal.  I've decided I'm not in love with the blue I painted the wine storage case so that is back on the project list but I figure I've come this far, I shouldn't settle for any thing less than love, right?

In other less fun news, we are one week into the school year and a yucky allergy/cold/cough has already found it's way into our midst.  Hopefully it doesn't stay long!

xo, Patty

btw...I found the fabric I shared yesterday at Joann's.  It was in the designer quilting cotton section.

August 19, 2014

cause it makes my heart sing

I woke up today with a light heart.

I don't know when and I don't know how, but somewhere along the line I had let a cloud of heaviness invade my mind.  There was nothing I could point to that was wrong just a lot of tiny little things that I let steal my joy.

It may sound silly but I think taking control of my home, clearing clutter and prettifying my surroundings, has had a lot to do with the lightening of my mood.  We are after all, visual people.  I have purposefully set out to create an environment that feels soothing, a place to retreat to.

So when it came time to pick the fabric for my dining room windows I went shopping with the idea of finding a clean, calming, peaceful, neutral design.

And then I saw this...

And my heart began to sing...

So I bought five yards of it and today it's just me, my cup of coffee, my sewing machine and this yummy fabric.  Sometimes you just need to throw caution to the wind and follow your heart and that feeling of peace will find you!

Happy Tuesday.

xo, Patty

August 18, 2014

a whole new rythm

Just about the time I forgot what it's like to have a quiet moment to myself and a few days before I officially lost my mind, school started again.

What a difference a year makes.  Just 12 short months ago we were walking this little guy to his first day of kindergarten and in the blink of an eye it was time to line up for first grade.

He was still a little nervous to be sure but nothing like the quivering lower lip we dropped off for kindergarten last year.

Now that school is back in session, the baby is six months old and mom is back to work again, the house is finding a whole new rhythm for this baby sitting gramma.   Naps are more scheduled (both the babies and mine) so I've actually had a chance to start on the dining room revamp.

I finished painting the big oak hutch the same white as the kitchen cabinets and I can't tell you what a difference it makes in lightening up the whole room.  If you follow me on instagram, you've seen me style and restyle these shelves a few times already.  I think I'm finally happy with the way they look and I can't wait to show you more but for now it's just a quick peek and I'm back at it.

Have a wonderful Monday!

xo, Patty

August 13, 2014

kitchen revamp - the details

It's been a few weeks since I finished my kitchen revamp and other than a couple of small tweaks, (like adding the red band to the curtains) I am still loving the new look.  It is actually a joy to be in there.

I've started the same process of streamlining, decluttering and organizing in the dining room so I thought I'd better share the details of the kitchen before I bombard you with pictures of the projects I'm working on now.

(white curtains without and with the red striped band.)

I started the revamp with a 30 day time frame and a $500.00 budget.  I am happy to say I was able to stay on time and budget with both.  Here is the break down of how I spent my money.

Stainless Broan range hood - $85.00 on Amazon
Behr Paint, Zimmer Primer and painting supplies for the cupboards - appx. $100.00 at Home Depot
shelf and brackets for above the range - $40.00 at Home Depot
red vintage looking clock - $32.00 at World Market
wire basket, new dish towels - $20.00 at Home Goods
paper towel holder, new galvanized buckets - $10.00 at Ikea
new rug - $6.00 at Ross
drapery rods, pot holders - $30.00 at Target
cutting board, organizing dividers - $20.00 at Bed, Bath and Beyond
Post and hardware for small shelf between range and fridge - $20.00 at Home Depot
New coffee pot - $40.00 at Walmart
Miscellaneous trips to Ace Hardware and other stores for odds and ends around $50.00

Because we did the work ourselves and I was able to use supplies I already had on hand, I actually came in under budget at $453.00.  The only thing I wasn't able to replace was the light fixture.  The one I have my heart set on will cost me around $150.00.  So I cleaned up the existing one and will learn to love it until I can afford the one I really want.

I think the most important lessons I learned were to break things down into manageable projects if at all possible.  Set a task and complete it before moving on to the next one.  Be prepared to live with piles of stuff for the duration of the revamp and be flexible.  Somethings will turn out just as you envisioned and others...not so much.  For me, the ones that didn't turn out like I thought, ended up turning out even better with a little tweaking.

And lastly, learn to love the home you're in.  It may not be your dream home but that doesn't mean it can't be a beautiful place to dream in.

xo, Patty

I shared the details on how I built the mock cabinet between the stove and the fridge in a this post.

August 9, 2014

hello Saturday

Look who I'm rolling around on the ground with this morning while his mommy's working.  I can already tell I'm not going to get much done today...but then, who cares?

I'd much rather soak in all this rollie pollie wonderfulness while I can.

Have a wonderful weekend!

xo, Patty

August 7, 2014

happy sigh

Every morning after I start the coffee maker I head outside to turn the sprinklers on.  It's one of my favorite morning rituals because it allows me to peek at the gardens and our pretty view of the nearby foothills.

The last couple of weeks have been so hot and humid that it's been a quick dart out and right back in.

Yesterday morning as I stepped out the side door I was greeted with a nice cool, crisp breath of air.  The kind that stops you with an instant moment of thankfulness to the Creator.

This morning was even prettier.

I knew immediately that my coffee and quiet time would find me in my favorite wicker chair on the back patio listening to the birds and the gentle whir of the sprinklers.

For the first time in a long time I reached for my garden shears and started dead heading and removing overgrow plants.  I even managed to find this delicate little pink rose thriving in the parched bed.

I had the most amazing (big, happy exhale, sigh) time. Sometimes I forget how connected I am to the garden and how much I miss my time out there.  I can get so caught up in what I'm doing that I neglect those "big, happy exhale, sigh" things in my life.

How about you?  When was the last time something in your life caused you a happy sigh?  Don't you thinks it time for another?

xo, Patty

August 6, 2014

for the love of bread

I have a problem with carbs.  There I said it.  While I take pictures of these gorgeous red and yellow cherry tomatoes that my friend Elaine gifted me from her garden,  innocently giving you the impression that I snack on these straight from the bowl, what I really munch on absentmindedly are carbohydrates.

I am not picky in my love of the white stuff....cookies, bread, rice, potatoes...it's all fair game.

I think I've always know it was a weakness but it really hit me square in my ample bumm yesterday as I cut up a fresh loaf of french bread that I impulsively bought hot out of the oven from Albertson's.  (I mean, how can you say no when the bags are still warm and steamy and they're on sale for $1.00).

The bread didn't even make it all the way home before I ripped off a nice hunk for the drive home and now less than 24 hours later the loaf is gone...completely gone.

They say the first step is admitting you have a problem, check.  The next would be not putting them into my mouth.

One step at a time, one step at a time.

xo, Patty

August 5, 2014

brightening things up

I'm trying to brighten things up in the dining room.  I am thinking about painting a few of the larger furniture pieces of oak a different color to help lighten things up in there.  Now that I have the experience (and street cred) from painting the kitchen cabinets, my hubby has reluctantly given me the go ahead to paint some furniture.

I know I'll be painting the hutch the same white as the cabinets.  It is really large and I don't think I want to commit to that much of any one color.  I also have a 1990's oak wine cabinet and a thrift store half circle table that I want to paint as well.  They are small enough that a nice pop of color on them will be a fun addition to the room.  I have narrowed it down to periwinkle blue and sunshine yellow although I'm not sure what piece I'll be painting which color just yet.

As much as I want to simplify my house with whites it seems I am always drawn back to primary colors.  I love the sense of fun and casual feel bright colors add to a room.  I think the calming affect will have to come with less clutter and more open wall space.

I can't wait to get started.  I never thought I'd hear myself say this but I think I hear my paint brush calling me.

xo, Patty

August 4, 2014

and then came Monday

I did manage to spend some time on Saturday just doing nothing.  I must confess that it wasn't a whole day of doing nothing but the pace was definitely slower and I only allowed myself to work on couple of small projects.

One of the little things I worked on were the white curtains I just hung in the kitchen.  I knew I wanted something light and breezy in there and simple white panels on black clip rings sounded like the perfect solution.  But as it turns out they were just too white and I wasn't crazy about the unstructured look the use of clip rings gave.  So I added some pretty red ticking fabric and slipped them through the rod and I love them now.

Sundays are purposely slower paced around our house.  After spending the morning at church, I took some time to catch up with all of you (I love reading blogs even though I don't comment often), a little book reading, some future planning and dreaming and even made out the weeks menu.

And then came Monday.  A new to do list is already started in my planner for the things I'd like to accomplish this month.  The dining room and the main bath are on the room by room agenda.  Nothing major just a little paint and  a lot of decluttering.  Definitely doable for the "too hot to play outside" month of August.

How about you?  Did you find some time to just do nothing this weekend?

xo, Patty